Ian Khan is a futurist who expects that blockchain, synthetic intelligence and the Web of Issues will merge collectively to create a completely new kind of world. 

He’s the inventor of the Future Readiness Rating, the writer of eight books and the chairperson of the Cash 20/20 fintech convention.

His first movie, Blockchain Metropolis, is far from an underground manufacturing. The 42-minute movie, which is accessible on Youtube and Amazon Prime, is a businessy, optimistic and considerably sanitized tackle the trade. It focuses decisively on piercing the nebulous idea of “blockchain expertise” whereas largely dodging the generally controversial phenomenon of cryptocurrency, selling blockchain as an environment friendly monitoring mechanism furthering the pursuits of “the institution.”

Khan’s positioning within the trade is subsequently very a lot in distinction to the cypherpunk motion — the outdated guard of the blockchain revolution.

These authentic torchbearers of the trade weren’t desirous to see the expertise used to enhance governance programs however to bypass and successfully overthrow them by turning their outdated programs and processes towards them. Such an imagined technological overthrow is, nevertheless, unlikely to succeed with the likes of Khan advising governments on tips on how to stop disruption by means of future readiness.

At a basic stage, Khan considers blockchain-based programs as “a solution to do issues in a greater means.” The principle causes for this are the effectivity advantages derived from a community that confirms its personal accuracy, and the belief that no unauthorized person has been capable of manipulate information. 

Notably, he doesn’t give central reward to generally lauded themes like decentralization [away from governments] or the perceived advantages of on-line anonymity. As a substitute, he emphasizes how blockchains can be utilized by governments to higher safe non-public data and stop issues like identification theft.





In terms of “the final 100 years off, how we’ve been doing enterprise,” for Khan, blockchain is “one thing that does issues higher in 1,000 alternative ways.” On the a part of enhancing authorities processes, “the effectivity half will come up because of the alternate of information between authorities entities — unimaginable authorities providers will occur because of that.”

Again to the Futuracy

This discuss of effectivity and the longer term doesn’t come from a vacuum, as Khan runs a Toronto-based firm future-readiness enterprise known as Futuracy, which he describes as “an rising expertise educator” that has labored with firms and governments all over the world. The prolific writer can be a key determine within the Dubai GITEX expertise convention — such a key determine, that he was serving because the stage supervisor as I arrived to ship a keynote on the historical past of the blockchain motion on the occasion in mid-October. Whereas I used to be seeking to the previous, his head was (and is) firmly sooner or later.



A nonetheless from the movie Blockchain Metropolis



The agency creates a Future Readiness Technique for every consumer. These methods are tailor-made primarily based on the solutions to 200 questions put to the shoppers that are designed to disclose weak programs and processes which can be disrupted by advancing expertise. Relying on the size of the group, minor weaknesses can have outsize impacts.

“If there’s an inefficiency in authorities, frequent folks will undergo,” he explains, noting the necessity for future-readiness evaluation in stopping disruptions to necessary features reminiscent of medical care and schooling — each of which have been impacted by the pandemic.





Khan can be taking a look at different phenomena that guarantees to form the way forward for his shoppers, particularly the Future of Work and Artificial Intelligence The Next Frontier, each of them additionally titles of his two upcoming movies. For him, concepts reminiscent of digitization, the Web of Issues, blockchain and synthetic intelligence will not be standalone improvements. As a substitute, they’re related and it’s only a matter of time till they mix and combine to kind a completely new tomorrow for the best way governments, firms and establishments perform. 

“It’s very simple to color the image the place we are able to discuss in regards to the world that’s powered by AI that has blockchain in it,” Khan mentions casually as if the thought is under no circumstances terrifying. It’s about effectivity, as AI-blockchain integration will probably be “saving plenty of time, vitality and energy,” and data will probably be much less more likely to be stolen, in line with Khan.

Ideas from the longer term

A lot of Khan’s current work has been in Dubai, a metropolis he says “is at all times making an attempt to do issues differently.” An early patron of the blockchain motion, “Dubai was one of many first international locations with a blockchain technique on the authorities stage,” Khan says.

Khan believes that one of the simplest ways for governments, massive firms and establishments to ease into the blockchain age is for them to supply all workers with an understanding of the expertise “whether or not they’re determination makers or not,” as a result of if a corporation is to outlive in a altering surroundings, it has to “turn out to be a studying entity.” 





The efficient solution to study new paradigm-shifting applied sciences like blockchain, in line with Khan, is to begin with examples of profitable technical implementation with the aim to “massively simplify the understanding of those huge big buzzwords, so that folks can relate” to what the expertise is definitely able to and helpful for. In apply, this might imply investing in schooling programs — maybe starting with watching his movie. 

Regardless of his emphasis on studying the fundamentals, Khan concedes there isn’t a want for everybody to have greater than a surface-level information. In spite of everything, blockchains are horribly advanced, however the best way we work together with them may very well be made so much easier. Simply as not all automotive customers want to know precisely how a combustion or electrical engine works, sooner or later will probably be the “blockchain that’s taking good care of issues beneath the hood,” he says.

“All people must be on the fundamental minimal stage of understanding of expertise — it doesn’t matter in the event that they don’t work in the identical division. I feel schooling of fundamental expertise ideas and the worth it creates is necessary.”

One other means by which organizations, particularly governments, can harness the advantages of blockchain is to open up the ideation course of by giving as a lot inventive freedom to their folks as potential, so as “to give you concepts that may actually change the best way they do issues.”

On this advantage, Khan offers particular reward to Estonia, a small European nation of just one.3 million, the place he says “there’s numerous freedom to precise” one’s concepts to the best ranges of determination making. As a small nation with an enormous emphasis on expertise, as evidenced by the eResidency program making it simple for digital nomads to function companies from the nation, Estonia has solid a popularity as a digital hub.





The third means, Khan says, is for organizations to repeatedly run small experiments and pilot tasks “that show a degree,” even when there isn’t a apparent short-term profit or return on funding. As a chief instance, Khan brings up Zug, a Swiss metropolis of 30,000 which in 2016, adopted Bitcoin as an possibility for paying metropolis permits. Because of the success of the experiment, Zug quickly became often called “crypto valley” as blockchain firms from all over the world opened workplaces there.



Blockchain Metropolis



Kashmir to Canada

As a substitute of being a blockchain native, Khan is future-native. “I simply love studying this stuff and understanding them and serving to others perceive them,” he proclaims.

He was born on the Indian facet of Kashmir, a area whose different half lies in Pakistan. There, Khan remembers that he turned concerned about rising expertise on the age of six when he noticed a pc at college. “It was a BBC Micro hooked on to a black and white display that had Pac Man on, and my thoughts was utterly blown,” he remembers.

He studied engineering at Kuvempu College in southern India between 1995 and 1999, acquiring a diploma in software program on the similar time. Quickly after commencement, he moved to Bahrain the place he labored in a gross sales and advertising position within the vitality trade, whereas additionally working in the direction of a diploma in journalism from the London College of Journalism which he acquired in 2003. In 2007, Khan moved to Canada, the place he lives at the moment.

In Canada, Khan tried his hand at quite a few facet hustles, upon which he based Agnitio Options. He tried his hand at quite a few tasks and startups over 4 years, till “I bought into the publishing trade and began a healthcare journal,” he remembers. In his free time, he continued to check, incomes a undertaking administration skilled certificates from Humber Faculty in 2009 and a certificates in public relations from the College of Toronto the next 12 months.

Blockchain documentary

Khan had the thought to make a documentary in regards to the blockchain revolution in 2018, across the time that he attended the primary Future Blockchain Summit in Dubai, a part of the bigger GITEX expertise conference for which Khan serves as Sensible Cities Convention Chair. He noticed that, along with blockchain being extremely complicated to most individuals, “there’s plenty of hype round it and there’s plenty of misinformation round it,” he notes.

“The story must be instructed that clarifies issues, brings some gentle to the scenario and helps enterprise determination makers, governments leaders and people perceive this expertise higher”

Blockchain Metropolis – The Way forward for Cities Pushed by Blockchain tells a “story of cities all over the world and their shift in the direction of being technologically powered by Blockchain.” Within the 2019 movie, he interviews representatives of assorted governments who communicate on the wonders of blockchain expertise and the alternatives it holds for making societal features extra environment friendly. 



The opening credit of Blockchain Metropolis



In step with his mantra of educating from real-life instances, blockchain use instances that have been introduced up embody stopping over-fishing and youngster trafficking. These examples of the following stage of the digitization of governance infrastructure may help international establishments “be a part of fingers and take the following steps collectively.”

Whereas Blockchain Cities largely avoids cryptocurrency, he has made a separate documentary titled The Bitcoin Dilemma on that topic. It’s technologically agnostic and impartial of any politics or ideology, which is understood to permeate the cryptocurrency trade.







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